Friday, September 19, 2008

Hooray for Professional Journalists

while i was sitting in dallas yesterday taking my lumps from one of my cowboy fan clients, the staff at the daily news was digging up some actual stats on donovan's comebackability (copyright scrapplelog 2008)

here's what they found (as written in rich hoffman's column):

This year, last year and the year before, there have been six games in which McNabb found himself in the same position as on Monday night in Dallas: trailing by one score (that is, by eight points or less) and with possession of the ball in the fourth quarter.

Six times. And in three of those six games, he has left the field for the final time with the lead. That is a fine percentage, much better than the league average - not Tom Brady or John Elway, for sure, but really not bad at all.

Because he really does win his share - and deserves to win even more. Twice in the last 2 years, McNabb has engineered fourth-quarter comebacks - against Tampa Bay in 2006 and Chicago in 2007 - only to have the team lose the lead again before he could get back on the field. That knocks down his overall numbers.

Even then, he has converted comebacks 39 percent of the time. The Web site footballoutsiders.com did a 10-year study of these kinds of comebacks a little while back and determined that the NFL average was 41 percent. If you give McNabb those Tampa Bay and Chicago games, he's at 45 percent. The point is, he has the average pretty much surrounded.

He does not stink.

He is not deficient.

In comebacks, he is typical.

Dallas quarterback Tony Romo has had a much shorter career. He is at 37.5 percent so far.

The sainted Peyton Manning? He is at 41 percent for his obviously successful career.

Brady, out now with a knee injury, might be having the greatest NFL career ever. He is at an astonishing 66 percent in coming from behind in these fourth-quarter, one-score situations. He is clearly the best.

But McNabb is right there with the rest of them.

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is sort of a figures don't lie but liars sure do figure math excercise, isn't it? Putting the final points on the board at the 14 minute mark of the 4th quarter after you were trailing going in would technically count as a 4th quarter comeback. And it is important, but it's not an equal scenario to what he faced Monday night. My biggest beef with Don is his complete and utter ineptitude with a ticking clock and 2 or fewer minutes left. Think of all the times he leaves points on the board in the final minutes of the first half due to terrible decisions. i think it was the first Skins game last year with no time outs he hit LJ on a 5 yard pattern when they needed 8 for the end zone and LJ was surrounded by 2 guys. That is a bad decision. His handling of the 2 minute drill in the last 2 minutes of the Super Bowl-dreadful. his handling of 2-1/2 minutes on Monday dreadful. maybe the issue isn't that he cannot come back, maybe it is literally eh is a bad 2 minute drill QB. And he certainly isn't the only one, I actually think that is a very unique skill for most QB. Maybe the issue is that he is not good in that position and his coach and D coordinator need to do a better job of keeping him out of that situation.

Bumble

5:16 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Eagles win by 12 on Sun against the Steelers.


I think we sack Toothlessburger 2 times.

- Joe

6:23 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Sunday will definitely show us something. Think DeSean gets another 100 yards?

9:10 PM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

Putting the final points on the board at the 14 minute mark of the 4th quarter after you were trailing going in would technically count as a 4th quarter comeback. And it is important, but it's not an equal scenario to what he faced Monday night. My biggest beef with Don is his complete and utter ineptitude with a ticking clock and 2 or fewer minutes left.... Maybe the issue is that he is not good in that position and his coach and D coordinator need to do a better job of keeping him out of that situation.


or maybe the issue is that your expectations of the success rate for a 2 minute drill are too high. it's really not that common.

i haven't looked at the numbers, but i'd estimate that a team that gets the ball on the 20 with 2 minutes left scores a TD less than 10% of the time.

that's why it's so celebrated when it happens and why you're so pissed at your defense if they let it happen to you.

the stats from the daily news and football outsiders indicate he's about or better than average at "4th quarter comebacks".

why do you use specific situations to make points? it doesn't make sense to me to use individual data points to make broad assessments of performance.

8:52 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous...

Reid called the plays in the last SB drive as he always does. Fault Reid for not going no-huddle and not calling at least one timeout to rest 5 if he needed it. Oh, and Westy dropped a pass on that last drive where he had 20 yards of open field ahead of him. Don't hear anyone griping much about that do you? I agree McNabb has bittersweet games, but you have to lay blame elsewhere as well.

Peace.

11:35 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why do you use specific situations to make points? it doesn't make sense to me to use individual data points to make broad assessments of performance.

Isn't that the same thing you're doing-painting with that broad brush "but the experts say he's good" by giving him credit for every 4th quarter comeback equally when not all 4th quarter comebacks are created equal? I find it interesting that you dig for a lot of point in time examples to make your point then get frustraqted with me for doing the same thing back to you. This is ultimately kind of moot if the D plays better. If I were to break down my theory, as told to me by my own eyes as a lifelong Eagle fan, I would sum it up as such

Donovan McNabb is the best QB we have ever had. However, despite that greatness, Donovan McNabb is a very poor time manager and decision maker with a run ning clock and a deficit. As such, he is NOT the guy you want with the ball in his hands and time fading. He is the guy you want leading your team otherwise.

That's just one guy's opinion, but it is my opinion and until I see otherwise, it will remain my opinion. And I hope this opinion is proven silly as this year unfolds.

Bumble

8:12 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. Don't get me started on Reid. I blame him for a lot of McNabb issues-including failing to provide even adequate WR and TE for most of his career and being so damned stubborn that he throws 50 times a game, thus wearing Don's arm out by the 4th quarter. I wonder what a more balanced attack would do for McNabb and how it would impact my whole hypothesis. I suspect it would make a heckuva lot of difference in Don's favor.

8:15 PM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

Isn't that the same thing you're doing-painting with that broad brush "but the experts say he's good" by giving him credit for every 4th quarter comeback equally when not all 4th quarter comebacks are created equal?

i get what you're saying about the quick and dirty assessment that the daily news did, but the footballoutsiders analysis was much more comprehensive, and my recollection -- since i can't link to it anymore after their website upgrade -- is that they considered only drives within the last few minutes of a game.

however, the fact remains that the numbers being discussed are unbiased by expectations. your contention is that the numbers are not valid because the consider too much of the 4th quarter and i understand that you're looking for just a slice that shows the last 2-3 minutes, but no one has published that kind of analysis (which kind of begs the question, if the last 2-3 minutes was so important, why hasn't anyone done a comprehensive analysis of that situation for QBs?)

what we can do though is use your assessment within the context of the numbers we have that show mcnabb is better than most in overall 4th quarter comeback

so what that

I find it interesting that you dig for a lot of point in time examples to make your point then get frustraqted with me for doing the same thing back to you.

i'm not frustrated with your use of point in time examples to highlight specific situations -- as you note i use a lot of point in time examples as well -- but i do disagree with the use of point in time examples to try to dispute statistics or broader analyses.

6:14 AM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

I wonder what a more balanced attack would do for McNabb and how it would impact my whole hypothesis. I suspect it would make a heckuva lot of difference in Don's favor.

phil simms made a similar point in today's telecast -- this offense makes the QB work incredibly hard all game.

i think we'd all agree that if we were running the show we'd have a little more balance.

6:29 AM EDT  

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